SULAIMANI (ESTA) — Iraqi security forces thwarted an attack targeting visitors of the Arbaeen pilgrimage in Karbala, security media cell said early on Sunday.
The security forces seized two explosive belts and an improvised explosive device (IED) hidden to target pilgrims in the holy city of Karbala, it said in a statement.
The explosives were seized in north of Babil governorate, it added.
“The intelligence agency was able to thwart the process of targeting visitors of Arbaeen of Imam Hussein after intensifying work, continuous follow-up and technical effort,” it said in a tweet.
Arbaeen marks the end of the 40-day mourning period for the killing of Imam Hussein, grandson of the Prophet Mohammed, by the forces of the caliph Yazid in 680 AD.
It is marked 40 days after the Shia commemoration of Ashura.
The annual pilgrimage usually sees millions of worshippers, mostly Iraqis and Iranians, converge on the central city of Karbala on foot.